When I was 10, my family went on a trip to Michigan to visit the Henry Ford museum. We were pretty poor, so we rarely went anywhere. Living in Ohio, it was far enough to be considered a real vacation, almost like Disney World, to us anyways. We stayed at a Best Western, it had a pool. You could smell the chlorine in the hallway. My brother and I were bouncing off the 80′s wallpaper like we had just consumed a whole shitload of Pixie sticks.
But I remember this trip mostly because I had a jingle stuck in my head. Maybe you remember it.
OB, it’s the way you should be
Keep it simple and set yourself free
From the extra’s that you really don’t need
So just try OB and you’ll see
My parents were tired from the drive, lounging on the double bed. I must have been repeating it over and over, because finally my mother asked me what the song was.
Just then, and I swear to you this happened, the commercial came on the 19 inch color TV hanging from the wall in the room. I couldn’t believe my luck!
So there I am, bee- bopping around the hotel room, to a tampon commercial. My parents watched me in horror.
You have to admit, it’s a rather catchy tune.
I pirouetted, twirled, danced my little ass off, all the while singing about the freedom this tampon provided to young women everywhere.
” Make her stop,” my father told my mother. “For the love of God.”
My mom took me into the bathroom, and sat me down on the toilet seat. She explained that maybe this wasn’t a good song to be singing in public. I asked her why.
“It’s a song about tampons.”
What the hell was a tampon? I had no idea what she was talking about. Finally, she reminded me of when I had asked my Aunt Mildred what a douche was. (Why, it’s for washing your coochie, dear.) Kind of like that. It’s for down there.
I was instantly embarrassed. I was singing that song around my dad! Absolutely mortifying. Why did they have to make that song so appealing to little girls? To me it seemed like a Cyndi Lauper video. My mom just patted me on the head. Nothing I had to worry about for a long time. Let’s head to the pool.
My father always looked uncomfortable when that commercial came on. He would get up and walk away, grumbling to himself. As soon as he was gone, I would start humming it.
Humming it now, actually.